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Commercial Invoice Guide

A commercial invoice pro forma is used for all consignments containing non-documents. The commercial invoice is the primary document used for importation control, valuation, and duty determination. This document identifies the products being transported.

The form should include:

  • Complete name and address information for both sender and consignee;
  • Phone numbers for both the sender and the consignee;
  • Terms of Sale;
  • Reason(s) for import/export;
  • A complete description of the item;
  • What is the item?
  • What is the item used for?
  • Harmonised Tariff Codes, if known;
  • Country or territory of origin (where manufactured) for each commodity;
  • Number of units, unit value, and total value (purchase price) of each item;
  • Number of packages and total weight;
  • Sender’s signature and date.

A commercial invoice pro forma is used for all consignments containing non-documents. The commercial invoice is the primary document used for importation control, valuation, and duty determination. This document identifies the products being transported.

Our guide will help you on your way to mastering exporting and importing.

A commercial invoice pro forma is used for all consignments containing non-documents. The commercial invoice is the primary document used for importation control, valuation, and duty determination. This document identifies the products being transported.

A. FROM

Please include full details, including the sender’s Tax ID, contact name, address with postal code, and country, and phone number (very important).

B. SHIPMENT DETAILS

Waybill number : This is the tracking number shown on your shipping label. If there is more than one package, then this waybill number should be the lead, or first, tracking number.

Date : Not necessarily the date that the consignment is handed to Everest Logistics. This should be the date the transaction took place in the seller’s records. (The date on the shipping label should show the date the consignment is handed to Everest Logistics).

Invoice number: This is the number assigned by the sender (if applicable).

Tip: Getting the date of sale/transaction correct is particularly important when goods are being purchased under a letter of credit.

Purchase order number : This is the number assigned by the sender (if applicable).

Terms of sale : Terms of sale refers to the billing terms on the invoice. The terms state who (seller of buyer) is responsible for paying various costs – shipping, insurance, import tax, and duty charges.

Reason for export: The sender will include the reason for export. For example, whether the consignment is a sale, a gift, an item for repair etc.

C. SHIP TO

Please include full details, including Tax ID, contact name, address with postal code and country, and phone number (very important).

D. SOLD-TO INFORMATION

Please include full details, including Tax ID, contact name, address with postal code and country, and phone number.

E. UNITS/U/M

Units : Units refers to the quantity of the merchandise, i.e. the number of individual items per description type being sent.

U/M : Abbreviation for Units of Measure, whether the items are listed as individual, bundle, roll etc.

F. DESCRIPTION OF GOODS

This is where you need to provide a detailed description of what items are in your consignment.

The details of the description should include:

  • What it is;
  • What materials it’s made of;
  • What the item is used for;
  • What the item’s serial or part number is (if applicable).

For example, and accurate description would be:
½ inch diameter carbide steel drill bit for machining metal, part 123-456. The detailed descriptions you provide are used to assess and apply the import country’s duty and tax on goods being sent.

G. UNIT VALUE/TOTAL VALUE

Include this to assist the clearance of your goods. This global system of classification speeds up exports, reduces delays, and avoids potential additional fees and charges.

Tip:If you do not know some or all of the Harmonised Tariff codes for the goods in your consignment, then our representatives may be able to assist.

H. COUNTRY OF ORIGIN (CO)

This is the country where the goods were manufactured or assembled, NOT the country they are being transported from (e.g. if goods made in Italy are being transported from the U.K., then the CO is Italy, and not the U.K.).

I. UNIT VALUE/TOTAL VALUE

Unit Value : This is the purchase price of the item(s) on a per unit basis. If the item(s) are not transported pursuant to a sale, enter the value of similar or identical merchandise exported to the destination country around the same time as the consignment on a per unit basis in the currency in which the transactions are made (e.g. 15 shirts at £10 each, the unit value is £150).

Total Value : This is the value of all items combined (e.g. 15 shirts at £10 each have a total value of £150).

Currency : This indicates the currency the values are listed in (e.g. EUR, GBP, USD etc.).

Tip: Include a valuation figure that is completely accurate to your knowledge. If customs officials at the destination country have reason to believe the valuation of your goods is not correct, this can be a reason for them to hold a consignment for further investigation. It’s important to recognise that all materials have an intrinsic value, too. For example, even if you’re sending a product sample, your valuation should at minimum represent the cost of the materials it took to produce it.

J. ADDITIONAL COMMENTS AND INFORMATION REQUIRED BY LAW

Indicate if you are registered for an Economic Operator Registration and Identification number (EORI).

Also add any other information that should be useful here and that is required for your goods by the applicable countries (and is not already included on the commercial invoice pro forma).

K. DECLARATION STATEMENT, SENDER AND DATE

A Declaration Statement could be required on the invoice for commodities that require a licence or licence exemption. If applicable, provide your export licence number and type.

If needed, the purpose for the export should be included here in order to ensure that your goods are considered appropriately during clearance – such as when the goods are not being sold but entering a country temporarily for repair or for an event.

FINAL COST/VALUE INFORMATION

Invoice line total : This is the total value of all contents, excluding packaging, included in the consignment.

Discount/Rebate : This is the discount or rebate given by the sender

Invoice sub-total : This is the total amount after any discount or rebate.

Assists : Enter the value of any goods (e.g. tools, dies, moulds etc.) or services (e.g. engineering and art/design work undertaken outside of the U.K.) furnished by, or on behalf of, the buyer, for free or at a reduced cost, to the seller for the production of the goods.

Freight : This is the cost to transport the consignment from the foreign port of export to the destination country port of import. Only if known, enter the actual cost of freight.

Insurance: This is the amount the sender or receiver pays to cover the cost of replacing the shipment if it is lost or damaged.

Other : This is for any other charges placed on the consignment by the sender (e.g. handling charge).

Currency : This indicates the currency the values are listed in (e.g. EUR, GBP, USD etc.).

Total invoice amount : This is the total amount after all discounts are taken off and all charges are added up.

Total number of packages : This is the number of packages included in the consignment.

Total weight : This is the total consignment weight (kg), including packaging.

CERTIFICATION

This statement certifies that the information provided on the invoice is true and accurate. In addition, a signature (whether in digital form or not) will need to be provided.

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